To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

Owls Head loses $500,000 mini-pumper

Firefighters released from hospital following crash

By Stephen Betts | Oct 18, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts An Owls Head fire truck was a total loss after it rolled on its side following a collision with a St. George fire truck.

An Owls Head firefighter who was flown by a Lifeflight helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland Thursday evening following a collision of two fire trucks is back home Friday, the department's chief said.

Russell Hallock, 56, of Owls Head was taken initially to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and then flown by a LifeFlight helicopter to the trauma center in Portland with what were called serious injuries.

Owls Head Fire Chief Frank Ross said Hallock was released early Friday, Oct. 18.

The drivers of the two fire trucks -- Donald Pierce, 64, of Owls Head; and Keith Miller, 65, of St. George, were taken to Pen Bay with minor injuries and released.

The fire chief said that the department's mini-pumper truck is considered a total loss. He said he is waiting for the insurance company to inform him on how much will be paid to the town.

The cost of replacing the truck is estimated at $500,000, he said. The truck was a 1990 model but only had 9,000 miles on it. He said many of those miles came from the trip up from Pennsylvania where the town acquired it.

A second Owls Head fire truck is down with a transmission problem, he said.

The preliminary investigation by the Sheriff's Office found that the St. George truck was traveling north on Clark Island Road with emergency equipment activated heading to a water supply station. The Owls Head truck was heading south, also with emergency equipment activated, returning to the fire scene with water.

The fire trucks came upon each other in the area of the Mill Creek Road intersection, which is on a corner. A car had pulled over to the side of the road as much as possible but the narrow road has no shoulder so the vehicle was in the northbound lane.

The trucks tried to avoid each other but the St. George truck's brakes locked and the rear driver's side corner of the truck struck the front driver's side corner of the Owls Head truck. The St. George truck went off the road and partially into ditch while the Owls Head truck went off the road and rolled onto its passenger side.

A Maine State Police accident reconstruction expert responded and a report from that investigation is expected to be completed in a couple weeks.

Both trucks were significantly damaged and were eventually towed by Automaster.

Fire Departments from multiple towns including St. George, Thomaston, South Thomaston, Cushing, Rockland, Camden, Union, Owls Head, Appleton and Warren, responded to the fire at a home on Tyler Lane on Clark Island. The Knox County Sheriff's Office was also at the scene.

The crash occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Oct. 17. The fire had been reported shortly after noon.

A six-car garage at the home near the end of the road -- owned by Bernard Davis Jr. -- was flattened and the home was destroyed with only exterior walls still standing. The house is located across from the Craignair Inn and Restaurant. Davis and his dog were home at the time but were able to get out without injury.

The town has the home assessed at $485,000.

The State Fire Marshal's Office was called in to assist in determining the cause.

A fire destroyed the home of Bernard Davis Jr. off the Clark Island Road on Oct. 17. (Photo by: Erin Elwell)
(Photo by: Erin Elwell)
If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.